The Stallions Pull a Late Game Comeback, Stay Undefeated
The Birmingham Stallions edged the New Orleans Breakers 10-9 on Saturday with a late field goal in the defensive rematch between the two South Division rivals, clinching the division in the process.
Like they have done in nearly every game this season, Birmingham again trailed in the second half of a game, though this one was their closest call yet as they did not get the lead for good until less than two minutes left in the game.
The Stallions only played J'Mar Smith at quarterback again this week, further moving away from the two quarterback system they displayed for a few weeks in the middle of this season. Smith went 15-of-29 on passing for 183 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a fumble lost.
The Stallions had a less than ideal start to the game, making it all the way to the New Orleans' nine yard line before fumbling the ball into the endzone the very next play for a Breakers touchback. Birmingham's defense came ready to play though, holding the Breakers to five plays on their opening possession and getting the ball back to their offense in less than three minutes. The offense, in turn, responded to their earlier mistake by scoring their first and only touchdown of the game, courtesy of a over-the-shoulder 27 yard pass from Smith to wide receiver Adrian Hardy, ending the first quarter 7-0.
The second quarter was the start of the real defensive battle, resulting in four punts between the two, each team missing a field goal, and an interception by the Stallions. The only points in the quarter came from the Breakers making a field goal, cutting their deficit to 7-3 at halftime.
New Orleans opened up the second half strong, scoring a touchdown in their first possession, but missing the point after attempt, a miss that would prove to be crucial to the final result of the game. The rest of the quarter proved to be just a defensive as the second quarter, resulting in three punts between the teams and a fumble, missed field goal, and interception caught all by the Stallions, ending the quarter 9-7 in favor of the Breakers.
The start of the fourth was just as bad as the start of the first quarter for the Stallions as they got intercepted on their first possession. The Breakers could not take advantage of that turnover either though, and missed their second field goal of the day.
After another punt by each team, the Stallions got their kicker Brandon Aubrey in position to kick and barely make a 29 yard field goal, after missing his first two attempts, giving the team a 10-9 lead with 1:48 left in the game. With limited time left on the clock, the Breakers were able to get to their own 45 yard line before Stallions cornerback Josh Shaw got the game sealing interception with six seconds left, resulting in the defense's third interception of the day and them winning the defensive slugfest.
Former Alabama and current Stallions running back Bo Scarbrough led all rushers in the game for the third straight week, rushing for 54 yards on 14 attempts.
The Birmingham Stallions will play the Houston Gamblers at Protective Stadium in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday, June 11 at 5 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on USA. Earlier in the season, the Stallions beat the Gamblers 33-28.
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